Creative use of waterfront land. Not. 25.4.2011


I have to share something really sad with you: last night I spent an hour reading about car park design.

This is because on the waterfront in Newcastle Harbour a car park will be built. That’s on the waterfront. I sit here still shaking my head, even though it’s over three days since I read about it.

The Honeysuckle Development Corporation [I’m having trouble getting the link to this media release: apologies] announced during the week that they have called for tenders to build said car park. Which will be about 500 metres from an existing car park. And to test our credulity, they have announced that it will be temporary.

That’s temporary the way school demountables are temporary, no doubt.

‘The Hunter Development Corporation is calling for tenders for the construction of a new 256 space car park at Lee Wharf, Honeysuckle.

‘The Corporation aims to have the new at-grade car park available by July this year.

‘HDC General Manager Bob Hawes said: “This is great news for the Honeysuckle precinct and the businesses that operate in the area.

‘“It is also great news for visitors wishing to connect with and enjoy Newcastle’s harbour and the amenities on offer.

‘“HDC has long term plans to purchase the Wright Lane car park site from RailCorp and build a multi-storey car park there,” Mr Hawes said.

‘“Contracts for this purchase are being finalised but it will be some time before that project can be realised.

‘“In order to respond to the needs of businesses in the area we have opted to build the Lee Wharf car park as a temporary measure to support those businesses and encourage visitors.”

‘Mr Hawes said the facility will be constructed at Lee Wharf on harbour-side land near the Worth Place roundabout.

‘“I expect this car park will be in place for three to five years as we make preparations for the continuation of the Honeysuckle project through Lee Wharf to Cottage Creek and Throsby Wharf,” Mr Hawes said.

‘“The tender period will close in early May and the contract is expected to be awarded in Mid-May.”

‘The Corporation expects the construction phase to last for six to eight weeks.

The photo is from the media release.

How many trees do you think will be planted in this car park? How many garden beds do you think will adorn it? How much public art will there be? How much bike parking will there be? Oh, sorry – the car park’s only temporary, so none of this will matter.

And could we take bets on how accurate the three to five year prediction will be?

And in quotable quotes: ‘car parks are the ashtrays of the motor industry’ and ‘the greenest car park is the one that hasn’t been built’. (From an article at Parking Consultants)

It’s interesting that there is now a bar/pub at Honeysuckle, which didn’t seem to generate any negative publicity, in spite of Newcastle’s battle with alcohol-related violence. [Which used to be much worse.]

I wonder if the new pub has anything to do with the apparent rush to put in a car park (not that I have the remotest idea when the tender process began for this appalling use of this land). An article at Sightline Daily questions the logic of providing parking near bars in the US. Maybe we need to apply this to our own neck of the woods.

And to take our mind off the desert that this car park will be, here’s a street art photo gallery. I’m jealous. Home



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2 Responses to “Creative use of waterfront land. Not. 25.4.2011”

  1. Outraged Local Says:

    I thought we were going to get a park on this land not a CAR PARK!
    Why are the Council members so short sighted?

    • Caity Raschke Says:

      I don’t know that this is NCC’s fault: I need some education in this area but I think the HDC is a State govt organisation. I’ll have to do some more reading. C

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